Help us make carol con­cert best yet, says proud Ai­dan

Runcorn & Widnes Weekly News - - Front Page - BY ABIGAIL DONOGHUE abigail.donoghue@trin­i­tymir­ @abidonoghuee

ATEENAGER from Widnes who made it to the last four North West fi­nal­ists for the Pride Of Bri­tain Awards is look­ing for sup­port for his lat­est fundrais­ing chal­lenge.

Ai­dan Jack­son, 16, has Asperg­ers but this hasn’t stopped him from fundrais­ing since the age of 12 and his cur­rent fundrais­ing chal­lenge is for com­mu­nity de­fib­ril­la­tors in the Widnes area.

Each de­fib­ril­la­tor will be in a coded case to pro­tect it against van­dal­ism and mis­use. For each de­fib­ril­la­tor and coded case it costs between £1,500 and £2,000. So far Ai­dan has raised over £700 for the first one, but still has a long way to go to reach the whole Widnes area. As much sup­port from lo­cal busi­nesses and the com­mu­nity as pos­si­ble is needed to make Ai­dan’s mis­sion a suc­cess.

Ai­dan is hold­ing his third an­nual Christ­mas Carol Con­cert fundraiser in the gar­den of his home in Fran­cis Close on De­cem­ber 22 to help raise funds.

Singers from Vic­to­ria Mu­sic Ltd and War­ring­ton Bri­tish Sign Lan­guage Choir, princesses from Princess Par­ties and Santa will all be at the event to pro­vide en­ter­tain­ment.

Ai­dan told the Weekly News: “My mum has a say­ing that she al­ways tells us ‘do some­thing ev­ery day that you are proud of’ and when my friend Olivia Alice Walker sadly passed away aged just 15 years her fam­ily wanted to set up a foun­da­tion in her mem­ory to help other chil­dren young adults with com­plex med­i­cal needs, I de­cided to help raise as much money as I could in Olivia’s mem­ory.”

On top of all his fundrais­ing work, Ai­dan, who has pre­vi­ously been awarded a Points Of Light award, has re­cently started at Cron­ton Col­lege so has to find the bal­ance between the two, say­ing: “To be hon­est it can be a strug­gle.’’

Ai­dan’s ad­vice for any­one who wants to start their own fundrais­ing is sim­ple. He said: “Don’t let any­body tell you that your goal ● A pre­vi­ous fes­tive fundraiser at the house

can’t be achieved. Stay pos­i­tive and even when it might seem that the end goal is out of reach just keep go­ing.

‘‘A few days be­fore my teddy bear event at the Se­lect sta­dium we were only half way there with the amount of ted­dies we needed, we didn’t give up and ted­dies were still be­ing brought to the sta­dium on the day. It can be achieved.

‘‘If any­body would like to get in­volved with one of my chal­lenges so that they can get a feel­ing for the work in­volved etc then please get in touch.”

How­ever, fundrais­ing is not the big­gest chal­lenge for Ai­dan.

He said: “Com­plet­ing my fundrais­ing chal­lenges is eas­ier and less stress­ful than the chal­lenges I face daily – over­com­ing chal­lenges linked to Asperg­ers etc are ex­tremely dif­fi­cult but peo­ple wouldn’t spon­sor you for get­ting a bus to col­lege or walk­ing into a class­room or din­ing hall.” ●

Both Ai­dan and his mum hope h that over time peo­ple will w un­der­stand how dif­fi­cult life li can be for peo­ple with hid­den d dis­abil­i­ties. He has raised money for many char­i­ties and good causes over the years as he want to help as many peo­ple as he can.

He is in need of help from area a busi­nesses and peo­ple who can pro­vide por­ta­ble toi­lets, large tins of hot choco­late, bot­tles of mulled wine, sausages, hot dog rolls, tins of choco­lates, small gifts for younger vis­i­tors, raf­fle prizes and a real Christ­mas tree to hang Christ­mas mes­sages on.

He’s also look­ing for out­door lights, a face pain­ter and live rein­deer to make the event more mag­i­cal. He also wants to of­fer stall hold­ers the op­por­tu­nity to at­tend. Any­one who thinks they can help can get in con­tact with Ai­dan.

Food and drinks will be avail­able and is planned with fam­i­lies in mind. All that is asked is that peo­ple make a do­na­tion on the night.

The event is on De­cem­ber 22 at Fran­cis Close, between 5.30pm and 8.30pm.

To sup­port Ai­dan’s fundrais­ing but can­not at­tend, do­nate at www. just­giv­ing. com/ crowd­fund­ing/ ai­dan-jack­son­com­mu­ni­ty­de­fib­ril­la­tor-1/

Ai­dan is look­ing for sup­port for this year’s carol con­cert

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